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Walmart 'Seriously Considering' IPO Of British Supermarket Chain

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Walmart 'Seriously Considering' IPO Of British Supermarket Chain

Retail giant Walmart (NYSE: WMT) confirmed it's considering an IPO for British supermarket Asda after its recent merger with Sainsbury's was rejected by UK regulators, according to CNBC.

The Leeds-based supermarket chain Asda was purchased by Walmart back in July 1999 for 6.7 billion pounds.

Walmart is the largest retailer globally, with around $500 billion in annual revenue and about 11.700 stores.

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The recent merger talks between Asda and its domestic U.K. rival Sainsbury were blocked in April this year by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority.

What's Next

Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna disclosed the plans to a meeting of 1,200 managers held on Tuesday, but said the path to a share offering would "take years," CNBC reported

"While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO — a public listing — to strengthen your long-term success," McKenna said. 

This represents the first discussion of Asda's future since the CMA stamped out the idea of the proposed merger with Sainsbury's.

Asda CEO Roger Burnley said the supermarket chain plans to "accelerate our price position," briefing staff on plans to invest £80 million ($103.3 million) in the price throughout the rest of 2019, CNBC said. 

The U.K. remains one of the most competitive retail markets in the world. 

Walmart stock was down 0.41 percent at $99.88 at the close Wednesday. 

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Photo by Rwendland/Wikimedia

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